LAHORE: Fayyazul Hassan Chohan has made a comeback as Punjab information minister after nine months. He was removed early this year for his anti-minority statement.

Mr Chohan has been assigned the portfolio of information department in addition to colonies department.

Mian Aslam Iqbal had been holding the additional charge of information minister since July alongside his portfolio as minister of industries, commerce and investment.

As Mr Iqbal excused himself from the information department assignment citing reasons of not justifying with the ministry jobs and constituency politics, circles in the government expressed their surprise at the timing as only two days ago Prime Minister Imran Khan had assigned him a duty to hold inquiry and report about the sacking of media persons from media houses and non-payment of salaries.`Motormouth’ Fayyaz Chohan had opened Pandora’s box for himself soon after becoming information minister in August last year when he used indecent language against some film and stage actors in public.

The social media was taken by storm against Mr Chohan as people from all walks of life chided him for making remarks against actors. The female actors had also responded sharply against the remarks passed by the culture minister.

Soon afterwards then local government minister Aleem Khan had come to his rescue and sought an apology on his behalf telling that Chohan would learn soon. Mr Chohan had also released two video messages and sought apology from Nargis and Megha.

Following Mr Chohan’s removal in March this year, the PTI government had assigned the full-fledged information minister portfolio to Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari. Mr Bokhari, however, could not perform well as per expectations of the prime minister, who wanted that the information minister should continue targetting the opposition.

As Mr Bukhari also failed to “perform well”, the chief minister on the instructions of the prime minister notified a team of 40 spokespersons in May with a “special task” to take on the PML-N leadership especially Maryam Nawaz for her aggressive stance against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Eventually, in July, the chief minister withdrew information portfolio from Mr Bukhari and gave the additional charge to Mian Aslam Iqbal.

It may be mentioned that the Punjab government had inducted MPA from Lahore Malik Asad Ali Khokhar in the cabinet in the middle of September but he had not been assigned any portfolio even after the passage of over two months. Mr Khokhar had earlier resigned as chairman of the Chief Minister’s Complaint Cell.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2019

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